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Is LG going to make solar panels?

LG, a company known to develop great household electronic devices such as cell phones, TVs and refrigerators and many other appliances is moving closer to their entry into renewable energy. The company has been investing heavily into research and development into solar power and has recently secured a relationship to buy silicon wafers from REC Group, a Norwegian solar power product developer. LG has been slowly scaling up their operations to get to a point in which they can start selling solar panels with the LG brand name. This is great to hear because its such a familiar brand name in the consumer market and I think would encourage more people to look into solar panels. What do you think about LG getting into the solar panel business? Do you think we’ll ever see Sony getting into the solar panel business soon? According to LG they see solar energy as a new growth engine for the company. What a powerful...

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tax refunds for solar and wind power?

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) had a conference call recently to talk about restructuring of the wind and solar tax credits to make them more favorable in today’s bear market. In October of last year, congress extended wind and solar power tax credits and removed the $2,000 cap on residential installations. Although the extension of the tax credits for wind and solar power was a positive step towards helping renewable energy become mainstream, not everyone can take a tax credit, you have to have a tax liability to take advantage of a tax credit and putting today’s economy into perspective, not many people are going to be able to take advantage of the credit. The solar and wind industry associations are encouraging Congress and the Obama administration to covert the tax credit into a tax refund. A tax refund is the mother of all financial incentives because it would mean the federal government would send you a check for installing a wind turbine or solar panels, the results of converting the tax credit into a refund are obvious. Do you think the solar and wind power can convince the federal government to pay you to install a clean energy...

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solar power lab at arizona state university

Arizona’s solar dream of becoming a leader of solar power is one step closer today. Arizona State University (ASU) opened a photovoltaic (pv) testing facility back in 1992. Although, today ASU announced a partnership with TUV Rheinland Group, a German testing company has upgraded ASU’s old testing center into a world class certification lab for solar electric products. Researchers at the lab are testing solar panels for their resistance to hail, rain, frost, falling objects, power output and efficiencies. The solar researchers are putting solar panels to the test in the lab not holding back by taking each product through the extremes to make sure the products used to provide your home or business clean energy are going to perform as expected. This is such a great resource for the solar industry and consumers alike, reliable information needs to be accessible for people to make confident decisions in solar electric products. I really want to visit the new TUV Rheinland PTL lab and get a first hand experience of vigorous tests that solar panels are put through. What types of test would you like solar electric systems to go...

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ugly’s electrical references handy for solar power

Today, I met up with Dennis Epp, founder of Hertiage Solar a leading solar power installer in Orange County and San Diego gave me a book called, Ugly’s Electrical References. The reference guide is not a replacement for the national electric code (NEC) but provides the most common required information in easy to read format, which includes pictures and tables. The guide has the following relevant information that’s important for solar electric systems. voltage drop Conduit size Cable type number of conductors that can fit in conduit or tubing. Talking to customers, I’ve noticed people often have a difficult time figuring out wire size and voltage drop, after looking through Ugly’s, I noticed it’s a great resource to figure out these important elements of your solar electric system. It’s important your system is designed correctly to meet NEC codes, otherwise it could be a potential safety hazard. What’s your favorite electrical reference...

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10 year solar installation warranty

We’ve talked about how solar panels that produce clean electricity are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of 25 to 30 years. If you are deciding to retrofit your roof with a solar panels with the help of a solar installer, you should ask them to explain the terms of their 10 year installation warranty. Solar panel mounting systems are bolted into the structure of the roof which requires roof penetrations, depending on the quality of the solar installation the process of penetrating the roof can cause the integrity of the roof to be compromised. If your solar installer did a bad job, you could end up having a leaky roof, would that be horrible? Here in California, when a solar system is installed by a solar contractor, the installation itself has to be covered by a 10 year warranty. If anything goes wrong with your system, the contractor would be liable for 10 years to fix the problem without any cost to you. So if you are going to hire a solar contractor to install your solar electric system, make sure you review the terms of their 10 year installation warranty. Do you think a 10 year installation warranty is...

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